January 2019: Early Career Profile

Published on 1/1/2019 12:00:00 AM

Krina Mehta, MS, Associate Pharmacometrics Consultants, qPharmetra, Cypress, CA

Krina has had an atypical route to her pharmacometrics career. A pharmacist by training, she received her BPharm degree from Saurashtra University in India in 2004. In 2005, she came to the United States and worked in pharmacovigilance and regulatory documentation for approximately 8 years. Her work in drug safety and medical writing helped her gain a deep understanding of drug development, clinical studies, and regulatory processes. As a medical writer, while working closely with clinical and pharmacology colleagues, she saw the impact of modeling and simulation in drug development and developed an interest in working in pharmacometrics. She learned about a master's program that was being offered online designed for working professionals through the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), and she decided to pursue it. She describes her experience positively: “I just loved every bit of that program and learned so much.”

While pursuing her master's degree, Krina started working as a pharmacometrics consultant/contractor. She helped clients like Alexion and Halozyme with population PK modeling, R shiny application development, first‐in‐human dose predictions, and modeling and simulations guided predictions of QTc prolongation potential for a drug. She has also worked as a contractor with the Center for Translational Medicine at UMB, developed PBPK course modules for inclusion in master's programs, and conducted drug–drug interaction predictions for a Center for Translational Medicine client.

Recently, Krina joined qPharmetra LLC as an Associate Consultant. She is glad to be working with expert pharmacometricians and clinical pharmacology scientists and is learning from them every day, while continuing to provide pharmacometrics services to clients to optimize clinical and preclinical studies to bring the best drugs forward for patients.

Dr. Joga Gobburu, UMB, mentored Krina during her time there. She admires his philosophy of effective communication of modeling and simulation results to make an impact on drug development decisions and tries to follow it in practice every day.

Using modeling and simulation to effectively understand translation from nonclinical to human is of particular interest to Krina. She believes that translation from nonclinical in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies to human clinical results is not fully understood yet. In silico methods, especially systems pharmacology modeling, can be a key piece in optimizing and reducing the burden of nonclinical and clinical studies in providing humane and cost‐effective methods, while also helping develop a reproducible and perpetual computational framework describing human physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology. 

Krina's current career goals are to broaden her modeling experience by being involved in different types of modeling scenarios, which will equip her to provide and apply innovative methods and ideas to solve different issues in drug development, such as the issue of better translation of nonclinical to in‐human. In general, modeling and simulation enables drug developers to make better decisions during each stage of drug development, which enables them to bring better drugs to the market faster. This is valuable to patients with diseases that have been difficult to treat, such as immune system–related diseases and rare genetic diseases.

As Krina works remotely most of the time, ASCPT has helped her connect with the industry and stay in touch with what is the latest and greatest in the field. She enjoys reading all three journals from the ASCPT journal family. She enjoys learning about different modeling approaches and their impact on regulatory and patient care decisions. In addition, ASCPT membership provides access to informative members‐only webinars that she has found useful.

Krina has been a member of ASCPT since 2016.

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